tv Fast Money Halftime Report CNBC May 16, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT
was told the train had left the station. >> that's going to be an interesting vote. >> taking it very, very seriously. >> yes. all right. that's about it. as we hit noontime on the east coast, president obama about to begin his news conference. let's get the fast money halftime report back at headquarters and scott wap ner. >> thanks very much. welcome. we're following two developing stories at this hour, the rally's latest move and the president set to meet reporters in rose garden alongside the turkish prime minister. we're going to live to the white house when that event begins. president obama likely to get more questions about the unfolding irs controversy as well, but we start with the markets and a tweet that caught our attention today and should get yours, too. bill gerly sending this out last night.
he was an influential tech analyst when the market burst. there's the tweet. man, it feels more and more like 1999 every day. brisk is being counted tremendously. so, is this 1999 all over again? has the froth reached dangerous levels? trading this hour, steve, pete, don and josh brown as well. how about that. answer that question. >> no. i think it's actually very, very different than 1999. i was there. so -- that was -- okay. so, from a stop perspective, not from a venture capital perspective, here are the major differences. one, it's not growth companies leading. it's defense i haves, bond proxies. 1999, the s&p was sporting a 30 some odd earnings multiple. right now, we're fighting over whether it should be 15 or 16. i think the parallels continue. they're not there and when you look at things like earnings, we're earning about 30 or 40% more than we were on the s&p, so we have a lower multiple, much
higher profits and the fed on your side. the fed was about to go the other way back then. we don't want to look at these other periods like 1995 or the '80s and say oh, this is the same kind of market because of this, that and the other thing. >> there's that saying, if you don't learn from history, you're damned to repeat it. pete, are we 1999? >> i don't think we are yet. i think there's so much money spinning on the sidelines trying to go to work and every day, we see examples of where their trying to put that money to work. they're trying to find areas in the marketplace they don't look too overvalued. i hate the word defensive. forget defensives for a second. the financials went to defensives area. they've been stellar if you go back to november, look at the trajectory of the xlf, the energy composite has been moving to the upside, so when you look at the volatility index, we see
spikes, but those are coming from people that are short is upside and reaching up to buy some of that premium as they get up there and get that back, they're starting to see that volatility come back. >> one quick point that i want to make. i would argue that the speculation is away from the stock market. i would argue that the froth is in things like the art market, the froth is in areas like venture capital, which i'm sure he's more sensitive to. >> you're talking about a guy who was an analyst, a highly recommended and respected analyst back in 1999. he's the one who cut net scape in 1997, so the guy was there on the front lines and he's concerned we're completely discounting some of the things he brings up. >> first of all, george, he's the one who said that. those that don't know history, i am multitalented. >> thank you very much. you know him, too? >> in another life, actually. actually -- i knew him way back 150 years ago. >> sure. >> teper referenced this and he
said that if the fed does not continue to be measured, does not actually start to parse back on their easing that you could see 1999, the back half, but he doesn't think it would happen. the difference between now and then, first of all, i'll take 1999. it's 2000 i don't want. number two, the dif rents is that you don't have that amazing volatility. if you look at how the market's behave, you don't have those big hundred point down days in the dow. you don't have the huge multiple days of up 100 points, so i don't think there's a lot of speculation except names like tesla. we're good now, but the key is the fed. because that's what drove the blow off in '99. i don't think it's going to happen now. >> dr. j., let's bring it down to a micro sense of things rather than looking back at the market. what is frothy? what would you stay away from? because it's showing danger signs. >> when bill gerlly and respect
him, love to have him as a guest on the show. but bill, cisco back in 1999 was what, $70, and now, it's on a furious rally that i was wrong on yesterday, on a furious rally, it pops up to 24 and we're back to 1999. and i know i can cherry pick just like he could examples like that. >> it doesn't necessarily have to be in tech. intel, 80 bucks a share. low 20s. these are situations you're not seeing the froth you saw back then where they would just cast money at anything. >> earning money, that's really what the key is. it's all about profits right now. profits have grown even despite top line revenues not growing. you had no profits back then. the leaders of that market were profitless companies. this is not a good parallel in
my opinion. >> to josh's point, the things you want to watch, tesla, the solar plays. we had the guy from sun power on last night. great guy, but these things have gone straight up because of terrorists and all the rest. >> netflix has gone straight up. a lot of these other stocks. >> that would be another one i'd put in the group, i'm afraid to buy that one. i'm in my solar plays because of this massive move they've made. >> there's a quadrant of these that are absolutely in the old days of 1999, but very small subset. >> it's just -- >> it's the netflix of the world and you start looking at these valuations, scott, i stood on the trading floors back in the day when a gentleman put in front of me the cisco chart, here's everything about it, you just can't see what the stock symbol is. are you kidding me? sure enough, turned out to be the one stock everybody loved. >> forget frothy. apple's looking anything but lately, stock's falling again and seems some of the world's biggest investors are bailing. glenn young joins us live from
san francisco. welcome back. >> thanks. >> set the record straight on where you think apple stands in the midst of some of the biggest hedge funds setting their stakes or getting out? >> we still don't like it now and ultimately for us, it's a fundamental story. we think the smart phone market is heading into some serious challenges, particularly in the western markets and it just so happens that's apple's sort of strong markets. i think it's going to be tough sledding for them for the next little while. >> could a new iphone save the day and how much does the timing save the day? >> i think not. we think that phone has been delayed until a september time frame, so it's coming late either way. but frankly sh the issue is more in the idea that the market for smart phones in north america,
japan, south korea, these markets are saturated now in terms of smart phone and you can bring out a new phone, but the reality is the market doesn't want or need one. >> so, what are you saying then for the long-term prospects for this company. they don't sound good. >> i don't think they are unless they make a couple of changes. the obvious is is for them to move into emerging markets, where there is still opportunity for new growth. unfortunately, if they do that, it's going to come at the expense of asp the phone. i think the more sustainable way is kind of what they're saying, software and services, as a means to drive new revenues, new margins and new multiple. >> so, what's your downside? you've got an upside, 10, 12% higher. where do you see the risk in it and why have your upside target at all? >> our target's 430 and the stock's basically there. >> i thought it was 480. >> came down to 430. i think it's 10% either way.
you can see 10% on the downside, the upside right now. on the current set of estimates, i think one of the risks we face is that estimates are still too high. even just the september quarter estimates, they're still too high. >> quick question, john, you're talking about september launch for the iphone whatever it's 5s or 6, i think they announce it in june. are you sayi ining you don't th they make an announcement until september and don't bring it out until the beginning of novr? >> i think it's available for sale in september. in terms of revenue, not until september. the point behind that is the street models 8.5% in sequential growth and if they launch the phone that late, it's unable to get that. the last two years when they introduced late, it was 3% growth or minus 1. >> we hear about the apple
watch, the apple tv. i don't think any of those are going to move the needle. they've already gotten competitive spaces before anybody has launched. do you see them doing anything? >> i don't. one, because the volumes in those markets tend to be quite small. think of it this way. apple is basically selling you a series of screen size. basically, every consumer screen size that can be sold, apple is going to sell to you. all access to same underlying ecosystem. the novelty is not that -- other than its size. >> finally, tim cook and his job. is there any reason to believe that his job becomes in jeopardy anytime within the calendar year or somewhat near future? >> i don't think so. one, too early i think, give him
a bit more time to move the needle. and secondly, you know, the charter that apple has internally, focus on great pucke product, they're doing that. i'm starting to realize it may not be tim cook's fault or apple's fault. it's the market starting to slow. just a circumstance of the environment in which they operate. >> thanks so much. guys? >> second half story, stick with apple. second half story, i've been saying it for a long time, because of everything glenn's talking about and by the way, he sounded even more bearish. he doesn't seem to think many of these new product cycles would be very successful from the sounds of it, but i think that bigger phone would. >> i keep hearing this second half story thing, but what all of a sudden is going to trigger something in the second half. >> get into china probably, that explodes the reach and you've got to get a phone that's competitive because right now, people do not use the phone to make phone calls.
you've got to have a bigger screen. >> and don't forget, this summer is the ios reboot. the next version of ios and that should give us some indication of how well the software and hardware sides of apple are working together. keep in mind, johnny irons and he's been working with the software team more. let's see if they can innovate with johnny running things on both sides. >> i was wrong during the segment, so that's notable in itself. second of all, until further notice, this is in a trade range, 400 to 440 and that's it until you see something break. >> i thought you were alluding to cisco. >> yesterday. >> 429 last night. opened $6 lower today. slammed down to that support level around 419 and then ran $18 to the upside. that was quite the move. we haven't seen that in a long time out of apple. >> coming up, tesla is in high gear. shares way up today on word of
the ceo's plan to invest $100 million into the company. our traders weigh in on where the smart money heads on this one and we are waiting for the president to address reporters in the rose garden. when that happens, we will bring that to you live. there's a live shot. we're back after this. bny mellon combines investment management & investment servicing, giving us unique insights which help us attract the industry's brightest minds who create powerful strategies for a country's investments which are used to build new schools to build more bright minds. invested in the world. bny mellon.
14%. the street reacting. pacific crest, rbc, fbn among those raising their price targets. the ceo on this morning sounding upbeat about the u.s. economy. scott, over to you. >> thanks so much. wyche, you know i'm going to go to you first. what do you think you underestimated in the debate when you suggested to stay away from? >> for starters -- that's sort of impossible. it's a good product, but limited end market. the momentum can continue. so, when i said -- >> i disagree with you on the limited -- you have to understand something, this company sold like 5,000 model ss in the first quarter. mercedes benz sold 3,000 of the s class.
market is big enough. >> last i checked, we were talking about cisco. >> multiple stocks i can be wrong on today. >> well, talk about it then. >> the ceo is buying into the deal, they're paying off the daily loan. a lot of the things that the bears were saying, a funding gap, these regulatory issues. >> let's listen to a -- as we try and get the train wak on the tracks. here's from our debate the other day.
my bottom line here, hope and pray that they do a secondary, which frankly, if they're good management, they will do, whether it creates a good opportunity, that's where i would focus on getting in. i wouldn't be surprised to see something like that happen shortly. >> okay, so tesla jumps higher. we're talk about tesla. that's the car company. >> on the valuation, too pricey for me. i don't have a bear case on the funding gap. i don't have a bear case on anything except that they're making their money on government credits, which takes their gross margins 2% versus operating margins at ford and that's a limited market. unless you only stay within 220 miles until they both national charging. >> google traded at 150 -- >> this is not google. >> i know.
it's tesla. nothing is exactly the same. >> i thought we were talking about cisco. >> this is an early stage growth company. >> josh, do your victory lap on this now. don't keep digging into it, okay? google is a free search engine. this sells $70,000 cars where you can only travel 220 miles where it's unknown if they'll make money and if the end market is there. we've seen first doctors before. >> how about this, rich peterson -- >> do you own the stock? >> i don't currently own the stock. >> why not? >> what do you mean, why not? >> you love it. >> there's a lot of stocks. i can't kiss all the girls. >> this is just one girl. what's your price target? >> i don't have a price target. >> steve, this is a momentum stock. if you're focused on things like trailing -- you'll never know when the momentum is ends. >> this is why you have risk management. >> speaking of momentum, rich peterson over at s&p capital iq sends me the following that in terms of market cap gains year to date, tesla ranks number
five, so that shows you what the stock has done. >> the one thing you guys are both making a great argument here, good television, but the one thing that really works in your favor on this one, josh, is that fiskar filed for bankruptcy. this was a $100,000 car. beautiful vehicle. same problem. only goes so many miles before you have to plug it in or run it off the engine, but when they go bankrupt, anybody considering that six figure level of vehicle had to go to tesla. they're not going to go to a volt, a leaf. those are little throw away cars. this is a high-end sports car. it's a fun consider the to drive and all the rest, but you u just took out their only competitor in the space. that's why tesla's doing so well as well. >> one of the things you're going to learn with companies like this over time is that where there's consumer demand and in this case, they can't make the cars fast enough, a lot of the other smaller issues tend to fade away.
what i'm not suggesting is that this company deserves to be the side of ford or is going to be profitable like the automakers in their hey day anytime soon. people want the car. they can't make enough of them. that's what's driving the stock. at a certain point, traditional valuation measures will knock this thing down. that could be in ten years though. i have no way of knowing. follow price, don't get caught up in things like pe rh owes. you're missing the boat. >> are you done now? >> yes. >> okay. >> where do you want us to go now, guys? >> cisco. >> option drops. that would be the biggest movers in midday trading. pete? >> got bernstein out with a note, they can't stand the stock. goldman sachs, they have put it in a cell with a two and a half dollar price target. i'd steer clear. >> chicago bridge and iron, josh? >> you had a double dose of good
news. buffett is in the stock and this morning, a firm came in with an upgrade they like it as a buy. >> computer sciences. >> future ten-year drop, tesla. today, csc, they recorded a 440 yesterday. it's going to be a little lump in. deutsche bank downgraded. >> kohl's, nice note from the ceo on a call and they're going to be spendinging a lot more money. they're not satisfied with the top line growth. they think seasonality is going to help them. >> all right. coming up next on the half, are you going for gold? precious metals down to almost a new monthly low. we'll see what's in store next, plus, we're waiting for the president as we mentioned, to address reporters in the rose garden. he's going to be with a turkish prime minister. take you to washington when that gets underway. we're back after this. ♪
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welcome back. first up, walmart missing on first quarter revenue, 1.2% drop in same store u.s. sales. >> it's tough to judge in this quarter because of tax refunds, the tax increases. i still like the stock, however, i do think pricing coming doup a little bit. i'd wait to get in, but walmart is where you want to be in terms of retail right now. >> how about grew upon? a share stake in the daily deals site. >> they talked about not just being an e-mail site anymore. julia borsen was really going after them at the new york stock exchange this morning about that topic. the co-ceos of the company, allegedly, they're going to have a big solution that is much better. i think it will be more like the program they bought that i love to use all the time. i like the stock. i continue to like it here even though it's more than doubleded in the last six months. >> finally, william lion home begins trading today.
it's ipo pricing above the expected range of 25 bucks a share, josh. >> i think this is an interesting one. this is the third homebuilder that's been able to come public this year. i think it would have gotten a better debut if it didn't come on the same day we had a disappointing start. >> traders keep folding. yellow metal is dropping more than a half percent today and for more on this, let's go to jackie deangelis. >> good afternoon, scott. gold's drop comes after a report from the world's gold counsel announces in the first quarter, gold demand dropped 13% year over year due to etf outflows. jim, this is a story we've been following for a long time. the it's not necessarily anything new, but confirmation of it. what is it going to take for dwold to recover? >> to me, it seems it's operating, the stock market's doing well and the stock market gives a yield. gold does not. it feels like it's safe enough
to come out of gold for the average investor, plus, the fact that the u.s. dollar is rallying hard continues to put pressure on. what i think an event, a headline, something that pushes money into gold very quickly is going to break that relationship. but i don't see that on the horizon. right now, gold has done nothing to engender any confidence. >> what levels should we be watching? >> we have a new tech tanical trade. right now, jimmy's right. you're seeing u.s. equities and historic highs. right now in singapore, we are seeing all time highs for gold buyers. both getting in that while investors flee like you say. >> all right. jeff, jim, thanks so much for
your thoughts. for more on gold, catch our show at 1:00 p.m. today because peter schiff is coming on. he's going to reveal his new reason why gold is going to hit a record high. it's not the fed. find out at 1:00 eastern. i guarantee you, that's going to be an interesting conversation. >> which is why we'll be there online. >> josh? >> hey, scott, well, heavyweight money managers in their 13if filings. they're telling us what they're buying and selling. leon coop erman, a stake in the gds, the gold miners, now at the lowest level since december of 2008 and he likes the e trtf th tracks bouillon. also calleded the position in the slv. lowest since october 2010. george tsiros cutting and adding in this space. tsiros likes the gold miners, but he reduced his take in the
gld by 10% and we're watching john paulson. his position in the gld unchanged, but he eliminated his entire stake in bears, so all 915 shares. scott, back to you. >> thanks. what's the mood on the desk? >> well, it's certainly nice to see cooper mann basically putting an endorsement down for that and the slv, the miners. i think this thing is getting down to a washout level again, judge. 130 was that in the gld last time. we're not seeing quite the level of panic we did last time. i would like to see more turnover down there to really call it a bottom. >> as of march 30th, those stocks have been trashed. we don't know if it's on those trades. >> lots of big money fuelling the japan rally. should you follow? five star portfolio manager under management will join the
half and tell you if it's too late to get into the hottest trade on the planet and we continue to wait for the president to address reporters in the rose garden. when that happens, we're going to take you there, live. ♪ [ cows moo ] [ sizzling ] more rain... [ thunder rumbles ] ♪ [ male announcer ] when the world moves... futures move first. learn futures from experienced pros with dedicated chats and daily live webinars. and trade with papermoney to test-drive the market. ♪ all on thinkorswim. from td ameritrade.
welcome back. japan becoming the hottest trade among e hedge fund managers, but should you be following the smart money or stay away? abe, welcome to half. nice to have you on. >> nice to be here. >> where do you think is trade is because it's pk being more popular. we've seen the nikkei rise tremendously. >> my golf game's a little rusty, but i'm going to try to hit this down the middle of the fairway. on the one hand as you noted, the stock market has been very strong. we ourselves have been investing in japan for several years.
several companies double and triple just from six, seven months ago. you need to approach this with a bit of caution after such a steep increase in the market. on the other side however, the japanese central bank is involved directly in the market. they want asset prices higher and you know, we're not going to go to war against what the central bank of japan. >> why should you fight the boj at this point just as people would say don't fight the fed here? >> they've announced doubling of the monetary base. very aggressive kind of monetary targets and this is before even the details of the fiscal plan, which hopefully will become more detailed throughout this year. there's a upper house election in july in japan and we may continue to hear kind of further news. >> it's josh brown. i'm pretty familiar with the way you guys run money and i'm an admirer for a long tile.
you guys are bottom up though and i know sometimes you'll hold cash just because you can't find stocks valuation wise that are worthy of buying. are you still able to find cheap enough stocks to buy and at what point will you say we're happy to hold cash until -- >> very good question. we're bottom up in nature, we're long-term investors. many of our companies we've owned in japan, we've owned for over 20 years and even before this, they had performed well. immediate impact has been to boost the prices of more exr port oriented companies or those that have some ties to the real estate market in japan. there's still domestic oriented companies that trade for low levels of operating profit that have lots of levels on the sheets. i'm not advising anyone to run in, but it's worth at least
doing some homework. >> so, let me ask you this question. you say market's risen a lot and it has, typically, that kind of movement had done nothing in years. you've got to watch out for. but if they are success inforfu really bringing back inflation and going past the 2% target, wouldn't you want to place something if you don't have ground to look at companies with the high that you look at it with? >> i would suggest for your average -- not to go and pick companies individually. because of many companies, if there is inflation, not all companies benefit from that. many japanese domestic companies actually import a lot of their goods and lower exchange rate also increases their cost. at the same time, if you look back at the last ten or 12 years, japanese operating margins have been stable to slightly increasing even as the
yen was increase iing. a decline in the exchange rate doesn't translate one to one in strong earnings. there are a lot of people just sort of buying japan because of the yen without really looking underneath the surface and understanding how these businesses operate. >> great having you on. thanks so much. >> my pleasure. >> it is probably the most talked about retailer of the quarter. j.c. penny and its ceo. earnings on deck tonight, what should you do with the stock today, we are going to debate it. josh brown's the bull, steven is the bear.
90 seconds on the clock, perhaps less if the president begins. >> i'll make this quick. steven has had a great trade being shorted. he was all over it. i think the story has now changed. the company was able to get financing. they've probably put a floor under it somewhere in the mid teens. the risks are on the upside. no one is is expecting anything good, but this team probably gets a clean slate at this point and really, the constant going up at this point are very, very easy hurdles to step over. if you just give them close to a multiple that macy's has, the stock could double. >> i don't like the stock. i'm not shorted. i think the company actually, the stock and shares -- this could be a decent quarter for
them. you don't know why they're in. george tsiros may not even know about the position. while being philosophical, give a man a fish, he eats one meal. teach him to fish and he eats the rest of his life. do your homework. i would say that with this company, what we're going to see is continuing brand erosion. mike goldman who came in as a guy they kicked out, so i would stay away from this. can't get that -- >> i'm not talking about the company. i'm talking about the stock. the risks are well-known. >> everything you're saying, kitchen sink quarter. who thinks they're going to have a kitchen sink quarter? raise your hand. >> why would you want to be shorted? >> if they do, if they don't, i'll short it tomorrow, the next day. >> the risk to the outside at this point. you did well, i would walk away. >> i did. i'm coming back.
>> pete? >> the risks were to the upside back when you were covering your short, which was a much lower price point than it is now. here's the problem. are you getting anybody new into your stores? i'd say not. >> hang on. >> lent it against the real estate, the good real estate assets they have. that's how companies borrow money on their cash flow. trading .5 sales. the loose money of the year, who cares what their sales are if they can't make money. >> if the sales grow, they will continue to benefit. >> there's a lot of different ifs. >> please don't go there.
do we think that that's a trend that will continue or is the fact that coupons are back, the customers are going to come back as a result of that. >> you go to a macy's that's continuing to spend on your stores. has a great shopping experience. the store to store concept, that's not new. every department store has one. >> what's going to bring them back is the return of coupons, which is what the customer -- >> they need teslas in their scores. have a tesla store. that's mainstream, i heard. >> you just say, we're never going to move on. >> the market doesn't care about good and bad. it cares about better or worse. this is the type of situation where the expectations are almost nil and could have a
huge, upside move if they get in order. i'm not saying they can. that's what i would be most concerned with. i'd rather be long than short. >> tell us who you think won the debate. tweet us, i'll give you the results at the end of the show. today, the real price of college debt. new data showing another spike in outstanding student loans and that's just the tip of the iceberg. what's the impact on the overall economy? next up on the half, not so fast. steven weiss, it's your turn in the hot seat, my friend. and you're going to show us how to manage a losing short on a big box retailer. and we're waiting -- which one could that be? and we're waiting for the president to address reporters in the rose garden. we're expegting him shortly to address the irs controversy. when that happens, we're going to take you live right there to the white house.
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the white house is set to name a new acting head of the irs this week and we're going to speak with washington's key people about reforming the agency. a couple of congressmen, congresswoman included, who will be part of the hearings that begin tomorrow. also, who's helping jpmorgan and its proxy battle. will a compromise be reached?
the votes are even now trickling in and the intel meeting with shareholder's today. the country's chief financial aurs is going to join us. scott, back to you now. >> thanks so much. see you in just a few moments an we are just a few minutes away now from the president's appearance in the rose garden with a turkish prime minister. he's going to be taking questions and you can bet the irs controversy is going to be a hot topic. john, you know, the president's been busy on the hospitality front this week first with david cameron, now with the turkish prime minister. >> it was only a few days ago that the issue of what happens in syria with the conflict there with what the united states was going to do after the chemical weapons red line was crossed was a very hot topic.
as you suggested, they took a big swing yesterday in all three of those potential scandals, continue ver says, president said he's going to support a shield -- >> john, in fact, just behind you, we have the president and turkish prime minister beginning. >> it is a great pleasure to welcome my friend back to the white house. this visit is also another opportunity for me to return the extraordinary hospitality that the prime minister and people showed me on my visit to turkey four years ago. that included the prime minister's beautiful hometown of istanbul. this visit reflects the importance that the united states places on our relationship with our ally, t k turkey, and i value so much the partnership. today, we discussed many areas in which our countries
cooperate, includiing afghanistan, where our troops serve bravely together. the g-20, where we promote our shared prosperity and iran, where we agree it is critical that we see it is critical that that company do not acquire a nuclear weapon. given our shared interest in peace, i want to note the prime minister's efforts to normalize relations with israel. this will benefit both the turkish and israeli people and can help us also make progress on a two-state solution. today, we focused on three areas i want to highlight. first, we agreed to keep expa expanding trade and investment over the past four year, our trade has surged and u.s. exports to turkey have more than doubled. as the united states pursues new trade and investment partnership
with a eu, i want to make sure we deepen our ties with turkey, so we're creating a new, high level committee that will increase investment between our two countries and will help fuel turkish innovation and the progress turkey's economy has made over the last several years i think has been remarkable and the prime minister deserves much credit for some of the reforms that already have. >> second as allies, we are reaffirming our commitment to mutual security. as prescriime minister on behal the american people, i want to express our condolences on the outrageous bombings that took place. as always, the united states stands with you. we want to thank you in the cooperation you provided us.
i want to commend you for your courage in seeking a peaceful resolution that has plagued turkey for so long. we will support efforts in turkey to uphold the rule of law and good governance and human rights for all. finally we spend a great deal of time on an issue that has racked the region, the issue of syria. the turkish people have extended generosity and i know this is a burden. i have made it clear that the united states is going to continue helping countries of the region to shoulder this burden, doing our part. and we're going to keep working with our turkish partners to deliver the food, shelter, and
medicine that is needed to save lives. at the same time we're going othe keep increasing the pressure on the asaad regime and working with the syrian opposition. pushing for a democratic syria without asaad. and turkey is going to play an important role as we bring partners together in the coming weeks. we both agree that asaad needs to go. he needs to transfer power to a transitional body. that is the only way we will resolve this crisis and we will keep working for a syria that is free from tyranny. so again, mr. prime minister, i want to thank you for being here
and being such a strong ally. i know that michelle appreciates the opportunity to host mrs. erdogan and your two wonderful daughters this morning. i'm looking forward to our dinner tonight and as always among the topics where i appreciated your advice that is close to our hearts, and that's how to raise our daughters well. you're a little ahead of me in terms their ages. with the prime minister's permission, i want to make one other point. there has been intense discussion around attacks in ben ghazi. i am intent on making sure that we do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like this from happening.
that's why we have been taking a series of steps that were recommended by the review board after the incident. we're continuing to review our security at high threat diplomatic posts including the size and nature of our presence, including training for those headed to dangerous posts, including warning capabilities and i directed our defense department to insure that our military can respond lightning quick in times of crisis. but we're not going to be able to do this alone. i have been in discussions in my team has been in discussions with democrats and republicans, and i'm calling on congress to work with us to support and fully fund our budget request to improve the security of our embassies around the world. we also need congress to work with us to provide the resources
and to authorities so we can fully implement all of the recommendations of the review board and we're going to need congress's help in terms of increasing the number of our marine corps guards who protect our embassies. we need to come together and honor the sacrifice of the four americans and better secure the posts around the world. i should add that we are getting help from the turkish government on some of the issues. that's how we learned the lessons of benghazi, and that's what i will stay focused on as commander in chief. with that, welcome to the united states. i'm sorry the weather is not fully cooperating with our lovely rose garden press conference, but i think we'll be okay. >> thank you. >> troy: mr. president, ladies
and gentlemen, my dear friend, president of the united states, a friend and ally, i am here to -- pleased to be here in washington to have meetings with the president. i would like to express my thanks for the hospitality that has been shown to us on this occasion on behalf of myself and my delegation. in the president's person, i would like to express our condolences for the terror attack that took place in boston. we are a country which has been fighting against terrorism for many years. we have lost many lives in that fight against terrorism, and so we very well understand the feelings and sentiments of the american people in the face of such an event. as turkey and the united states, we are both determined to continue to fight jointly against terrorism.
my dear friends, turkey and the united states have many crews that cover the middle east to the balkans to asia covering issues such as energy and security supply and other issues. in all of these areas and on all of these issues we display a very strong cooperation. and in our meetings with president obama today we talked about relations with turkey and the united states and also about topical issues which remain on both of our agenda. we had an opportunity to exchange views on regional and global issues and our exchange of opinions will continue throughout the day with other meetings that will take place during the rest of the day. i am here with close to 100 business people and they are holding meetings with their new counter parts in the unit and they will continue to meet this afternoon as well.
bilateral economic relations between turkey and the united states have to be improved, and we both have this to do. at the moment, trade stands at $20 billion but this amount is still not sufficient. we have to increase the amount of trade to the two countries. bilateral trade will continue to develop and as we carry forward with these efforts, we need to strengthen this relationship with free trade agreements and other agreements. and i can tell you that as leaders of our nations, we have the will to continue to develop our economic relations. in our discussions that pertain to regional issues, syria was at the top of our agenda.
we talked about what has happened so far and what can be done in the future. we have views that overlap as the president has just said. we will continue to discuss this issue in greater detail in our meeting this evening. let me tell you that ending this bloody process in syria and meeting the legitimate demands of the people by establishing a new government are two areas where we are in full agreement with the united states. supporting the opposition and assad leaving are important issues. we also have to prevent syria from becoming an area for terrorist organizations. we agree that chemical weapons should not be used. these are all priority areas for all of us.
we discuss what needs to be done with the president and we will continue to talk about these in greater detail. iraq was also another area of discussion for us on regional issues. transparent elections in iraq and the participation of -- ensuring the participation of all groups in the elections are both very important in iraq. with everyone's participation, we would like to see a peaceful period in iraq and this is what both we and the united states would like to see. with respect to the middle east peace process, we discussed with the president this important issue, which is very important for regional peace. one was taking humanitarian aid to gaza, american